A road trip along South Australia’s south coast and Kangaroo Island offers something for everyone, from wine to wildlife.
Stunning cliff faces, roaring waves and spectacular beaches are just some of the highlights of the Southern Ocean Drive. Not to mention the Coonawarra, Naracoorte Caves and the wildlife of Kangaroo Island.
At a glance:
Travel to the Limestone Coast of South Australia, stopping in Mount Gambier, which is built on the site of an extinct volcano. Mount Gambier is home to the Blue Lake which mysteriously changes colour to a vivid blue each November for a few months. Continue along the coast where Beachport and Robe are tranquil lobster fishing towns with stunning beaches and rugged coastline, perfect for an overnight stay.
Continue towards the historic town of Penola and the world-famous Coonawarra, renowned for fine red wines and more than 20 cellar doors. Visit the impressive World Heritage-listed Naracoorte Caves, with caves full of delicate calcite formations and a 350 000 year-old fossil bed. Overnight in the Coonawarra region.
Three-hours on, cross the Murray River on a car ferry – a short trip that offers a charming introduction to the river landscape – and travel to the historic town of Strathalbyn on the Fleurieu Peninsula. From Strathalbyn, head towards the coast, visiting the heritage river port of Goolwa and the popular seaside town of Victor Harbor. Join a river cruise that heads to the mouth of the Murray River and into the Coorong or cruise with Big Duck Tours to see the local wildlife. Overnight in Victor Harbor or any other coastal town.
Drive to Cape Jervis in the morning to catch a ferry to Kangaroo Island, Australia’s third largest island and known for its abundance of wildlife. Drive to Seal Bay to encounter sea lions. Visit Remarkable Rocks* and Admiral’s Arch* in Flinders Chase National Park*. Discover secluded beaches and try local products such as honey, sheep’s milk cheese and eucalyptus oil. There is a large range of accommodation in Kingscote, American River and Penneshaw.
*Due to bushfire activity in January 2020 on Kangaroo Island these attractions are now closed until further notice. Click here to view the latest SATC Bushfire Updates.
Transfer from Penneshaw to Cape Jervis on the morning ferry. Drive to McLaren Vale, one of the most picturesque wine regions in Australia. Enjoy the simple pleasures in life on the Fleurieu Peninsula by combining food, wine, arts and coastal adventures. The secluded beaches, friendly seaside towns and art studios make the region an ideal day-trip or overnight destination. At the end of the day stay in McLaren Vale or drive to Adelaide (a 45 minute drive).
Enjoy a day in Adelaide. The city centre, surrounded by parklands, is a blend of historic buildings, wide streets, cafés and restaurants. It is known as a 20-minute city because its shape and lack of congestion means getting to beaches and hills in a 20-minute drive, or if on foot, the city’s attractions are within walking distance. Adelaide’s restaurants and cafés are among the best in the country; while a new breed of renovated pubs, small bars and pop-up eateries have added a new dimension to the city’s food and wine scene.